Either the incentives shouldn't have been there or bots shouldn't have counted towards rank. The game would probably still be unhealthy at this point(as it has a ton of other problems than just bots) but it would probably be a lot better off than it is now. Because when you open the server browser and you see 200 servers all with one or two people in it each, the rest bots, what does that say to you? It says dead game to me. Now remove the incentive to play on 'bot' farming servers and players will clump up instead of spreading out - and having 4-5 active servers says an 'alive' game to me.
just to clarify, I'm not saying bots should be removed. They help seed servers by giving the first few people that join something to do. It's just they should have never countered towards rank. It's too late now though as the damage is done and if tripwire change it they'd probably piss off the bot farmers and lower the population even more.